Sudan’s military removes President Omar al-Bashir | News

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Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been arrested and put “in a safe place”, the country’s defence minister said in a TV address, as he announced the formation of a military-led transitional government.

“I announce as minister of defence the toppling of the regime and detaining its chief in a secure place,” Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf said on Thursday.

Seated on a gold-upholstered armchair, Army general Ibn Auf announced a three-month state of emergency, a nationwide ceasefire and the suspension of the constitution.

He also said Sudan’s air space would be closed for 24 hours and border crossings shut until further notice.

Bashir, who ruled with an iron fist since he took power in a coup in 1989, has been removed after deadly force failed to end four months of nationwide protests for his ouster.

Tens of thousands of Sudanese marched early on Thursday through the centre of the capital, Khartoum, in jubilation, dancing and chanting anti-Bashir slogans.

Earlier in the day, people had taken to the streets after the army said it would make “an important announcement”.

Thursday also marked the sixth day of a defiant sit-in outside the military’s headquarters, which also houses Bashir’s official residence and the defence ministry.

Sudanese Defence Minister Ibn Auf said a military council was now running the country [Asharf Shazly/AFP]

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